Redditors Share 'Jean-ius' Ideas To Make Denim Last Longer

Recycled Heap Of Ragged Old Blue Jeans


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Blue jeans

Keep Denim Lasting For Decades

How and when to wash your jeans is one of those divisive topics that seems to have countless answers. A quick look through various Reddit threads shows just how confused people are.

Do you wash each pair alone? Do you throw them in the dryer? Do you put them in the freezer?  Here's what most Redditors do for their denim to make them last longer and get the most bang for their buck.

Closeup of washing machine full of dirty clothes. Laundry washing process.
Natalya Vilman/istockphoto

Avoid Washing Too Often

If you're on the fence about whether or not to wash a pair of jeans you just wore, chances are you shouldn't. Even Levi's, one of the most popular denim brands on the plant, recommends washing less rather than more. "We encourage you to wash less, if ever," the company's site reads. While we're not sure about that "ever" part, the main point is you don't need to wash jeans as much as you think. Redditors agree. 

"I'm currently in a set I've not washed in 8 months; I only wash them when they actually get dirty through something and they really don't seem to smell," says u/pm_me_je_specerijen. Impressive.

Hang out clothes

Wash and Dry Carefully

You will likely have to wash that denim at some point, especially if you've spilled something on it. While many Redditors say they just spot clean, they also recommend this cleaning method when needed: wash inside out with cold water, then air dry.

"I do not wash my jeans until the crotch actually stinks," says u/littlelivethings. "If I spill food or get dirt on them, I spot clean. I only have one pair of very blue jeans and haven't washed them yet—I might soak them to see how much dye bleeds. With my other jeans, I turn them inside out, wash on cold with other clothes, then flat dry. I only wash them once every 1-3 months."

Laundry Washing Control
sefa ozel/istockphoto

It’s Okay To Wash Them With Other Items

Most Redditors wash like with like. If they have a bunch of dark denim, they'll wash them together. If they have a bunch of dark clothes, they'll wash them with their dark jeans. It's simply unnecessary — and wasteful — to wash one pair separately. 

"I wash them on cold," says u/bread-tastic. "Usually I'll put them in with other clothes, but if I have a lot of jeans to wash, I'll do them in a separate load. Inside out. I always air dry them. I don't separate by color but the majority of my clothes are dark colors so I'm not really worried about the color bleeding."

Woman buying jeans at retail store.

Think About What Kind of Jeans To Buy In the First Place

Designer, trendy jeans tend to not be as durable as utilitarian denim, otherwise known as raw denim. Raw denim is untreated and was originally developed as workwear, and is usually sturdy, stiff, and long-lasting, according to Levi's. 

"It has been my experience that fashionable jeans do not last well. It has been my experience that utilitarian jeans tend to last better," says u/Avery_Thorn.

VÄLGRUNDAD Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator, Stainless Steel

Don't Try This Rumored Hack

You may have heard that putting denim in the freezer will kill bacteria and therefore "clean" jeans. Not the case, according to Denim Hunters. Bacteria can survive low temperatures, so the only way to truly get jeans clean and rid of any smells is with soap and water. 

"Freezer as a method for cleaning jeans has been essentially debunked," says u/apocalypse_meowz. "Sunlight on the other hand is always good at destroying funk, but be aware of the effect that direct sunlight can have on color and consider doing it with your jeans inside out." 

Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans, Nordstrom

Use Common Sense

Basically, don't be so fearful of washing your jeans because you might damage them in some way that it leads you to wear something stinky or stained.

"If they stink, wash them. If they're dirty, wash them. If they're stained, wash them. I've been wearing raw denim for over 10 years now and I can confidently say that your pants, no matter how expensive, are much better if they're not stinky or dirty," says u/DrMango. 

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